In this activity, students will invent crazy plants as they put together new combinations of nouns, verbs, and adjectives. They will be amazed when you introduce real living plants that have adaptations as bizarre as the ones they have created. Then they will create their own alien plants. Students will recognize that invasive species are equipped with adaptations that give them competitive advantages over native species.
In this lesson, students record their observations and draw an adopted tree. Students will review what a tree needs to survive and then consider how their adopted tree's needs are met by the surrounding environment. Students then share information about their trees and create a class scrapbook.
In this lesson, students explore what the forest provides for its animal residents. Cooperatively, students create a forest ecosystem with their classmates. Then, they enter the forest as animals in search of food, water, shelter, and space.
In this lesson, students develop a definition for biodiversity. They analyze pictures of three ecosystems (forest, prairie, wetland) to determine their unique qualities and interconnections and then represent this on a Venn diagram. Finally, they use a jigsaw puzzle as a metaphor to illustrate why biodiversity is important.
In this lesson, students dig in and participate in each step of planting a tree. They learn about the things a tree needs to grow, research and choose the right tree for the right site, and plant a tree.
In this lesson, students compete for basic needs in an active game. Afterwards they observe and write about how trees compete with one another for their basic needs.
In this lesson, students learn about ecosystem functions and the types of organisms found in ecosystems. Students complete a diagram of photosynthesis and use calculations to follow the flow of energy through producers, consumers, and decomposers. Students read to learn about the cycling of matter and create their own diagrams of the processes.
In this lesson, students learn the importance of forest biodiversity. They discuss and define terms important to the study of biodiversity. They study maps that illustrate how climate and glacial history influence the range of different tree species in Wisconsin. Students discuss how levels of biodiversity differ from forest to forest by studying different forest biomes and different forest characteristics. Students then attempt to answer important questions about forest biodiversity by analyzing case studies of five trees found in Wisconsin. Students work in groups to create a poster about their tree case study and give a short presentation.
In this lesson, students are introduced to the idea that trees create their own food energy. By acting out the flow of energy, students learn about producers, consumers, decomposers, and how they interact. As a conclusion, students draw their own comic strip about the adventures of Zippy the Energy who lives in a forest.
In this lesson, students participate in activities that illustrate economic factors influencing the supply of and demand for forest products. Students first learn how veneer is produced and used. They create a circular flow market diagram, define economic terms, and interpret supply and demand graphs. Students work in small groups and use data tables and statistics to describe the general supply of and demand for forest resources in different regions of Wisconsin. They use graphs to further describe the supply and demand characteristics of the Midwest and United States. In summary, students compare and contrast the economies of different nations, analyze the relative cost of production in each, and work together to describe the economic relationship between Wisconsin’s forest resources and those of the rest of the world.
In this lesson, students learn about ecosystem functions and the natural processes that occur in forests. They read the essay “Odyssey” from Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac and discuss the concepts of change, interconnectivity, and sustainability. In small groups, students research a forest ecosystem and then work in a large group to create ecosystem food webs. Together, students use the knowledge they have gained to create a story that describes the journey of an atom through different forest ecosystems.
In this lesson, students learn about historical uses of forest resources. Students begin by recalling products of forest origin while playing Hot Pine Cone. Next, the class explores forest resources used to create products of the past, while relating them to present-day goods. To conclude, students examine real forest products and draw a picture of one they use every day.
In this activity, students will use a simple sampling method to determine if invasive species impact other plants and animals in the forest. This activity focuses on garlic mustard, but the same procedure can also be used with other invasive plants in different habitats. Note: This activity can also be simulated in the classroom with different kinds of leaves to represent different plants.
In this lesson, students will use a checklist to find out more about the plants they depend on for food and fibers. They will guess which plants originated in the United States and check their guesses by researching individual plants. Students will then recognize that people move valuable plants around the globe through trade.
In this lesson, students learn what it means to be a forest steward. Students suggest solutions to forest problems by using an I Spy-like picture. A board game illustrates various decisions people can make for forests. As a conclusion, students draw their impressions of what our forests will be like in the future based on stewardship decisions.
In this lesson, students participate in a group discussion that defines urban forest management and how different situations require different management. Students then learn about the impact of biodiversity on an urban forest using a map-reading and data-manipulation exercise. Students learn about potential management problems caused by invasive species and plot where exotic species come from on a world map. Finally, students present their opinions to the class in a group presentation, explaining if and how the problems of urban forests are problems in rural forests.
In this lesson, students learn what it means to value something. The class is also introduced to specific reasons we value forests by searching Tree Spy collages and looking at the number of products that originate in forests. The lesson concludes with the class singing a song about forest values.
In this lesson, students relate emotions to a variety of fire situations by gluing drawings that represent specific emotions on fire related pictures. Through group discussion, students identify safe and dangerous fire situations. Finally, students use drawings to identify responsible adults to talk to if they feel scared or recognize a dangerous fire condition.
In this lesson, students learn what forests were like before European settlement and discover how Native Americans altered forests to provide their basic needs. To accomplish this, students read a journal of an explorer, note specific details, and draw an illustration.
In this lesson, the class explores the living and nonliving parts of a forest while on a hike. Students spend individual quiet time observing and drawing parts of a forest. The lesson concludes with opportunities for students to act out and share what they observed.
In this activity, students will play the parts of native plants, invasive plants, and herbivores in a game. They will quickly see the advantages that invasives have over natives. Students will experience the vulnerabilities of native species, such as competition, predation, and dependence on nutrients, water, and space.
In this activity, students will compare immigration statistics with the arrival of invasive species to understand how and why invasive plants came to America.
In this activity, students will map the invasive species present in an area on their school grounds, school forest, or nearby natural area. Older students may standardize and digitize the information for inclusion in a long-term monitoring database.
In this lesson, students explore what an imaginary animal needs to survive, and they decide if it could live on their playground. Then the students look at the needs of real animals that may live in their schoolyard.
In this lesson, students learn about living and nonliving parts of the forest through a series of sensory activities. The lesson concludes with each student using his or her senses of touch, smell, and hearing to investigate a tree while blindfolded.
In this activity, students will use a simple survey to assess the knowledge of classmates and/or neighbors concerning invasive plants. Students will analyze the survey results to determine how best to educate the community about invasive plants.
In this lesson, students examine ashes from paper to describe the changes that fire can cause. They also learn the elements necessary for fire to exist by studying a burning candle. Students then distinguish the difference between good and bad fire situations and learn what they can do to prevent bad fire situations. In conclusion, students create a cartoon that conveys a fire prevention message.
In this activity, students will read quotes concerning invasive species from a variety of sources. They will identify the position of the writer, choose sides in a debate, and defend a position that might not be their own.
In this lesson, students listen to an adaptation of Aesop’s Fable, The Hen That Laid the Golden Egg, and discover what it means for something to be sustainable. They define the word steward and brainstorm ways that citizens can participate as forest stewards. As a group, students read about situations facing our forests and determine which actions would help sustain them. Upon completion, students are sworn in as forest stewards and make a shield or family crest that shows why our forests are important and what they can do to sustain them.
In this lesson, students explore the reasons for urban forest management through an interactive board game. They then consider if those same problems and solutions can be applied to rural forests.
In this lesson, students review the three main parts of a tree. They complete a worksheet to learn the parts of a tree that are used in identification. Students play a game and act out how a tree meets its basic needs. They then label and put in order the life stages of a tree. As a conclusion, students draw their own tree, label it, and write a paragraph about how that tree is identified.
In this lesson, students listen to a story, then either draw a picture or write a new story about the benefits of trees and differing points of views about trees. Students then create a rhyme or song about how the trees make them feel. Finally, students consider how trees in rural forests are beneficial by comparing illustrations representing a tree in an urban forest and a tree in a rural forest.
In this lesson, students combine their knowledge with information from dictionaries to define "urban forest" and “ecosystem.” They relate their school to an ecosystem and then create a web diagram to show the connections that parts of urban forests have. They extend that idea to the connections urban forests have to other ecosystems using the water cycle as an example. To conclude, students write a few paragraphs to describe and compare urban forest ecosystems and rural forest ecosystems.
In this lesson, students learn about the meaning of the word "steward" and discuss choices they would make in given situations. They learn about the people who influence urban forests through an Old Maid-type card game. They also create their own knight's shield that shows why urban forests are important and what they can do to help them.
In this lesson, students match plant species with forest ecosystems and learn that living things are influenced by the nonliving things around them. They create a song or skit to show what they have learned about living and nonliving connections. The students conclude the lesson by creating a mural of different types of forests.
In this lesson, students learn that forests have living and nonliving parts by going on a walkabout and playing a game of Forest Memory. An art project and discussion help students make connections between different parts of the forest. Throughout the lesson, students are immersed in the idea that they, too, are part of the forest.
In this lesson, students learn about stewardship and how their choices affect the future of forests by participating in a mock school board meeting. Students role-play to learn about different perspectives on forest management.